Driver found guilty in double fatality case

After a two-hour deliberation Friday, a Camden County jury found Damien Bryan guilty of two counts of second-degree murder and one count of driving under the influence in the deaths of two other drivers in an Aug. 31, 2011, accident on Route C, near Jefferson City.

Bryan was charged with killing Donald A. Edwards 58, Russellville, and Joan D. Hamilton, 75, Lenexa, Kan.

The original Missouri State Highway Patrol report said Bryan failed to yield to Hamilton’s eastbound 2004 Lexus, as Bryan allegedly tried to cross Route C in his 1981 Ford F-150 truck. Bryan’s truck hit the passenger side of the Lexus, causing it to overturn into the path of Edwards’ westbound 1995 Chevy Blazer.

The trial was moved to Camden County after a mistrial Sept. 10, when a Highway Patrol officer testified in the first trial that Bryan had two previous driving while intoxicated convictions — information a jury can hear only if the defendant has testified.

But Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce continued to preside over the case, and sentencing will occur in Cole County at a later date.

More details in Saturday’s News Tribune.

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